Patterico's Pontifications

10/7/2012

Story Coming on Obama’s Donors — How Damaging Will It Be?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:58 pm

Many of us remember how “Doodad Pro” and “O.J. Simpson” gave money to Obama during his first presidential campaign. And how this was no accident. From 2008:

The Obama campaign has turned a blind eye to the possibility of donor fraud. Reportedly, during the heated primary battle with Hillary Clinton, the Obama campaign “turned off” many of the security features on its online donor page, allowing any person with a valid credit card number to donate using any name or address.

Typically, card merchants require a cardholder’s name to match critical personal details, such as an address or, at the least, a ZIP code.

And of course some of the money came from the credit cards of real people. It’s just that they didn’t authorize the donations.

Well, in the wake of news that Obama is headed towards raising $1 billion as a candidate this time around, there has been word of a new scandal regarding foreign contributions, which Katie Pavlich says could break as early as tonight.

By the way, Obama’s incredible $181 million take in September was especially notable because only 2% of it was reportable:

The campaign said that just over 1.8 million people made donations to the campaign last month. According to the campaign, over 500k of these were brand-new donors, having neither given in 2008 nor 2012. 98% of contributions were under the reporting threshold of $250. Of these, the average contribution was $53.

That means up to 98% of the September take could be from illegal sources. I’m not saying it is — in fact, it’s virtually certain that any illegal amount is nowhere near that much. But it still could be a lot.

If money is coming from foreign sources, it might be interesting to see how much is coming from Russia. Remember: In March, Obama told Russia he could be more . . . flexible with Russia after the election:

President Barack Obama was caught on camera on Monday assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.

Obama, during talks in Seoul, urged Moscow to give him “space” until after the November ballot, and Medvedev said he would relay the message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.

More foreign money could lead to more flexibility. It’s amazing how flexible politicians can become when there is enough cash to loosen things up.

We’ll stay on top of this story.

UPDATE: Commenter John Cunningham says:

There can be no doubt that the Obama web site is wide open for foreign money and fraud. I was over at a buddy’s house a month ago, I watched him log onto the Obama site, use his Visa card to donate $5, with no request for security code. he was moved to a page that asked for his personal info.

He entered Josef Stalin, Apt. 2, the Kremlin, Red Square, Moscow. Job–General Secretary. Employer: Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

It took the donation. his account was charged a couple of days later.

I just tried this, up the point where they wanted me to hit the donate button. I entered this information:

Then I entered my credit card number and expiration date, and I got this page, asking for my employer and occupation, which I duly filled in:

Whether the donation would have worked, I don’t know. I didn’t want to hit the donate button as I was afraid I would be running afoul of the law if I did. If John Cunningham is telling the truth, though, I could have donated $3 as Nosuch Person and it would have gone through.

UPDATE x2: And I was never asked for a credit card security code.


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